Eating Las Vegas had no idea why the former Ay-Chung Cafe closed and Kung Fu Chef took its place in the identical restaurant, serving similar menu Taiwanese food, to a very similar clientele.
No idea that is, until he tasted the food.
Not that there was anything wrong with Ay-Chung’s food, mind you, but our bites of several dishes at KFC revealed an attention to detail (and spice) its predecessor lacked. Everything from the upscale dishware to the highly seasoned lamb skewers announces there is a chef in the kitchen who is supremely proud of his food.
Besides those lamb skewers and the already touted chili pig bag, a dish called hot and sour noodles will get your attention in a hurry. In it, mung bean noodles — looking more like cold, rectangular, thumb-sized slabs of translucent marble — are dressed with a thick warm sauce of pureed, dried red chilies, black bean paste and sesame seeds that might be the strangest, best tasting thing we’ve had all year. This Sichuan/Szechwan dish plays the cold starch off of the heat (and the heat!) of the sauce. A nice sour finish completes your trip around the tastes of Southwestern China.
The hot and sour soup was no slouch either (although Three Villages’ upstairs is a tad better), and the fresh made mango boba tea gave the Food Gal® just the brain freeze she was looking for…the antidote for which was found in the pretty little hot tea pot on our table.
Not that the tea was good, mind you, because it wasn’t. Like every friggin’ restaurant on Spring Mountain Road, the “hot tea” they reflexively offer is little more than brown-colored hot water. None of the fellow travelers ever seems to mind, so gwai-lo ELV keeps his mouth shut. But someone really ought to investigate why you can’t find a decent cup of Asian tea in any one of the 60+ Asian restaurants up and down this avenue.
If you can ignore that ubiquitous flaw — which is pretty easy to do when you’re grooving on a mouthful of Sichuan spices — you have another winner in the Pacific Asian Plaza’s renaissance of superior Asian eats — a winner we think Carl Douglas, and even Cee-Lo Green, would approve of.
Take us home Carl:
KUNG FU CHEF
5115 Spring Mountain Road Ste 103
Las Vegas, NV 89146